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Broadwater’s Defeat

The Hartford Courant: Broadwater’s Defeat

April 13, 2008

In a courageous and correct decision to protect Long Island Sound, Gov. David A. Paterson and other New York state officials rejected a proposal by Broadwater Energy to anchor a liquefied natural-gas terminal in the middle of this magnificent estuary.

“The fact is, Broadwater is behind us,” Mr. Paterson proclaimed Thursday to a cheering crowd on Long Island.

New York officials concluded this past week that Broadwater’s industrial-strength proposal for a 1,200-foot-long vessel moored in New York waters just nine miles off Long Island (and 10 miles off Branford) is inconsistent with the state’s coastal zone management plan and wrong for the Sound.

They’re so right.

Connecticut and New York have poured billions of public funds into restoring the Sound’s health. The notion of Broadwater Energy, a consortium of Shell Oil Co. and TransCanada Corp., laying claim to a portion of its waters and declaring them off-limits to commercial and recreational activities is galling.

Federal officials failed to fully satisfy public safety and security concerns raised by the prospect of Broadwater’s hulking presence — and of the huge tankers that would sail in and out of the Sound two or three times a week delivering liquefied natural gas.

Broadwater is a losing proposition on the environmental front, too. Connecticut Gov. M. Jodi Rell, an early and forceful opponent of the behemoth, points out that the terminal would take in 29 million gallons of seawater for cooling each day, killing millions of marine eggs and larvae. She also notes that the 20-mile-long underwater pipeline that is part of the proposal would raise water temperatures along the bottom of the Sound by as much as 20 degrees.

Nor is Broadwater good energy policy. With the Northeast already too dependent on natural gas, Broadwater is a market-driven bid to prolong that status quo for decades at the expense of energy conservation, support for renewable energies and the welfare of Long Island Sound.

None of these points seemed to bother the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission or other federal agencies, which gave Broadwater a relatively smooth sail through the approval process. Shell was so confident that last month the company took to soliciting business from prospective customers of the floating gas station.

It’s now clear that Broadwater’s promoters underestimated the depth of the commitment of New York and Connecticut officials and of environmental groups such as the Connecticut Fund for the Environment to the protection and preservation of Long Island Sound.

Copyright © 2008, The Hartford Courant,0,6977184.story and its also non-profit sister websites,,,,, and are all owned by John Donovan. There is also a Wikipedia article.

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